Christian Symbolism

Christian Symbolism

In the Appointments of

First Lutheran Church


Each symbol used in the appointments of First Lutheran Church expresses a truth in the Gospel.  Every design is significant and meaningful, and should enrich one’s worship in this church.

The Structure of the Church

The basic plan of our church is in the shape of the Latin cross, which we immediately recognize as a most prominent symbol in Christianity.  This is apparent when you look at the interior ceiling, which forms a nearly perfect cross.

The seating area of the church is called the nave.  The transept is the area in the front which widens out to form the cross bar of the cross.  The sanctuary is the area which holds the alter.  The chancel is the area in front of the altar which contains the pulpit and lectern.  The entrance area is referred to as the narthex.

Colors


The basic colrs use din the repainting of our church and their traditional meaning are as follows:

RED – Color of fire, fervor, blood, martyrdom, victorious truth of Christian teaching based on the Blood and righteousness of Christ.

WHITE (White and gold)  The color used on the altar, walls, and with gold trim used throughout the church, it signified the Godhead, eternity, the robe of the glorified Christ and the angels, perfection, joy and purity.  The gold rose pattern in the pew cushions relates to the Messianic Rose.  This Messianic Rose also adorns our alter.

Altar

This impressive altar is crowned with what is called the “budded cross”  Each arm of this cross terminates in the trefoil, which is symbolic of the Holy Trinity.

The colors on the robes of Christ are red, white and gold.  On either side of the statue of Christ is a single candle.  These two candles are on every Christian altar.  When lit, they proclaim the Lord’s words, “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12).  They also symbolize our Lord’s twofold nature – divine and human.

Immediately below the statue of Christ is the Angus Dei – the Lamb of God.  It is one of the most ancient symbols of our Lord.  The Lamb is resting upon the three arms of the cross, which lies on the Book of Seven Seals, the reference being to the Book of Seven Seals which Christ opens, mentioned in the Revelation of St. John.

The Greek letters Alpha and Omega are on either side of the Lamb of God.  These two letters are the beginning and end of the Greek alphabet, like our A and Z.  See Revelation 1:8.  Christ is the beginning and the end.

On the center of the altar is the missal stand, flanked on either side by the altar flowers.

Below is the scene of the “Last Supper” which we observe and celebrate with our Holy Communion.  The consecrated bread and wine are served from our altar.  Matt. 26:26, 28; Mark 14:22, 24; Luke 22:19,20.

On either side of the altar are seven candles signifying “the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit”.

LECTERN – The lectern, to the east front of the chancel, is used for the Bible from which is read lessons from the Scriptures.  It is in the form of an eagle, the symbol of St. John.

BAPTISMAL FONT – It stands below the lectern.  On the front of the font is the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12; Rev. 2:10), a symbolic expression referring to the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  Baptism offers forgiveness and eternal life.

FLAGS -Facing the chancel, on the right is the flag of the United States and to the left is the flag of the Christian Church.  We are to be responsible in both kingdoms.